View Mobile Site
 
Posted: November 10, 2012 8:43 p.m.

GOP happy with county, state gains

Though Tuesday was clearly disappointing for the Republican Party on a national scale, Republicans gained even more seats in the Georgia legislature and the local party celebrated the recapture of the chairman's seat in Newton County.

Local party chairwoman Delia Fleming credited a more active local party than in years past.

"Locally, we feel good, feel successful. The candidates have been organized, they've been planning, they had money behind them, we had volunteers, we had people working like we've never had before," Fleming said. "I don't know if you noticed at the polls or voting, but we were there. We were about in the community. We've been having events, not just the past few months, for the past several years. We're not going to move any slower; we're going to pick up the pace."

The local Republican Party talked this year about the importance of raising money, and it certainly held a big advantage according to filed campaign contribution reports. For the two countywide races of chairman and sheriff, the Republicans candidates reported $48,732.40 in cash and $5,664.12 in in-kind donations (sheriff's donations made up about two-thirds), while the Democratic candidates only reported $8,990 in cash and $1,000 in in-kind donations.

Locally, Republicans held onto every seat, including both open county commission seats (District 1 and 5), though District 1 didn't even have a Democratic challenger. The party also regained the county chairman seat as Republican Keith Ellis was elected, following Democrat Kathy Morgan's defeat of incumbent Republican Aaron Varner in 2008.

"We look at it as a success because we maintained everything we had and we picked up one locally, so we're very happy," Fleming said. "I understand (Democratic chairwoman) Ms. (Sarah) Todd was saying that they showed the Republicans, well I don't know. We gained a major seat back.

"Now nationally, yes, we're all disappointed and concerned where everything is going in the near future. But there's nothing we can do but pick up and move on."

Despite the rapid growth in the western part of the county, which is mostly Democratic based on past election results, Fleming feels that the party has grown tremendously over the past few years.

"We have brought many people in. The problem, and I think it's on both sides, a lot of people are Republican or Democrat, but they don't want to get involved in the party. But if you call upon them and ask them to do something, they will do it. As far as growing your party, we have grown tremendously, but we have grown with those behind the scenes."

Moving forward, the Republicans are already looking at the 2014 elections, where it believes the District 2 county commission, held by Democrat Lanier Sims, is winnable. The party is also looking ahead to 2016, making sure it continues to grow the "spiderweb" of connections across the campaign that will allow for effective grass-roots campaigning.

Finally, Republicans saw the best news in the state races as the party picked up four house seats and one senate seat, and was looking at picking up one more of each. If the party does that, it would have a supermajority in both houses. A supermajority is a two-thirds majority that would allow Republicans to veto legislation signed by the governor and, more relevant to the upcoming session, put constitutional amendments on the ballot without the other party's input.

"All we can do is what we did locally and we took Georgia, so how much more successful can we get. We live here in Georgia and we did what we wanted to in Georgia," Fleming said.

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...